Proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils- these are the four food groups that we were taught formed the basics of a healthy diet. We have grown up following these principles.
Parents of growing children, especially toddlers, are sometimes at a loss to decide how to include the basic nutrients of a well-balanced diet into their toddler’s meals.
Thankfully, they can now take advantage of the Little Spoon Promo Code which gives a variety of basic ingredients and prepared meal options that will meet the nutritional requirements of even the fussiest toddlers and guarantees them a well-balanced meal.
Why Proteins are Important
While you have undoubtedly heard doctors extoll the benefits of proteins in a diet, you would be surprised to note that we cannot store protein in our bodies. That is why the human body needs a regular supply of protein every day.
Proteins are what give us strength and endurance. Scientists tell is that they are made up of amino acids. Also, we need a relatively large supply of proteins to support our bodily functions on a daily basis.
What Proteins Does for Us?
It has been established by the medical fraternity that proteins are extremely important elements of our daily diet. Proteins are necessary for the following five reasons:
1. Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies
Whether it is our bones, skin, muscles or cartilage- they are all made up of protein. A major part of our nails and hair are also composed of protein.
2. Proteins act as repairers
In case you are physically injured or hurt, the body uses protein to repair the injured tissues in our bodies.
3. Proteins help oxygenate our bodies
Scientists tell us that there is a protein compound in our red blood cells that helps carry oxygen throughout our bodies. It thus helps supply the body with needed nutrients.
4. Proteins help in the digestive process
Proteins create enzymes. This helps us digest our food, make new cells and other chemicals needed for the body.
5. Proteins aid in regulating our hormones
It has been noted that protein plays an important role in regulating hormones in the body. This is particularly recognizable in cell transformation and development during adolescence.
How Protein can help us Stay in Shape
This one is for parents. As we have noted above, proper amounts of protein in our diets can aid in speeding up the recovery process after exercise or injury.
Proteins can also help in building lean muscle, and reducing muscle loss. It can thus help you maintain a healthy weight and ensure that you stay in shape.
Proteins coupled with good amounts of fiber in the diet can keep you satiated for longer periods and reduce hunger pangs. You will eat less and get the right nutrients at the same time.
How Much Protein do Toddlers Need?
If you are worried about how much protein do toddlers need on a daily basis, the USDA recommends that about 13 grams of protein are necessary for a 1 to 3 year old child, while 19 grams of protein are considered enough for a child who is 4 to 5 years old.
So now we have a good idea of how much protein toddlers need in their diet on a daily basis.
Getting Proteins into Toddler’s Meals
Toddler meals are primarily based on products like milk and yogurt, meats, grains and lentils. There are a variety of ways that you can pack proteins into toddler based meals.
- For starters, you can focus on milk and milk based foods. Even the percentage of fat in milk can be varied.
- This can be varied from zero fat to up to 3 percent fat content. It will depend on what your toddler likes and is comfortable with.
- Also you can try adding oatmeal to milk.
- Occasionally you can combine egg, milk and bread and make French toast. See if your toddler likes it or not.
- You can also get creative by adding fruit like bananas, peaches, plums and pears into milk and see the reaction your toddler gives.
- Pancakes dipped in milk are another option. You can include maple syrup or jam, just don’t make it too sweet.
- For an evening snack, you can alternate cheddar cheese pieces with tender meat or fruit on kebab skewers and see how your toddler enjoys them.
- If your toddler can handle food with his or her fingers, you can even try alternating meat or chicken with cheese.
- Making mini burgers is another way to get your child to eat protein.
- Peanut butter is another food that you can try, spread on bread.
- Cutting food like fruit and cooked vegetables into different shapes will make your child more interested in digesting these foods.
- Fish is another option that you can use. Cook the fish down to an edible consistency, then mash into manageable mouthfuls and feed to your toddler.
- Combining proteins with carbohydrates is a good strategy. Mixing protein pieces with carbs such as rice and spaghetti is a great option.
Protein Based Prepared Meals
In case you run out of ideas, or are short of time, there is always the option of purchasing organic ingredients or getting prepared kids meals delivered to your doorstep.
Little Spoon offers a variety of balanced and wholesome meals that have been prepared with the help of doctors and nutritionists.
The site also offers discounted prices on all kinds of baby foods, from smoothies to kids and toddlers meals.
The labels included with the meal packaging indicate not only the mix and quantity of ingredients but also their net weight and nutritional value.
You simply cannot go wrong, and what’s more, your toddler will enjoy it too.